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PHARMA - INSULIN PRODUCTS REMOVED FROM MARKET

Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly remove insulin products from Australia

 

BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT

18th August,2005: Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly --two major suppliers of insulin in Australia have recently removed a number of products from the Australian market, a news release from Australialian drug regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said.

Novo Nordisk has advised the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that it is removing Monotard and Ultratard from the market in 2005. The two products are insulin zinc suspension products and are used less often than newer insulin presentations. The two products will be discontinued from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in August 2005.

Novo Nordisk has embarked on an extensive information programme in relation to this decision. This involved individual prescribers who frequently use these insulins, as well as Diabetes Australia and the health professionals in general. Transfer guidelines to facilitate patient movement to other products have been developed with the representative Australian professional bodies.

Eli Lilly is discontinuing Humulin Ultralente, Humulin Lente and Humulin 50:50 in Australia. These products were discontinued from the PBS in April 2005. The sponsor advises that the products have already been discontinued in Europe. Eli Lilly indicated a steady decline in the use of Humulin Ultralente, Humulin Lente and Humulin 50:50 in the past few years. This decline in conjunction with the introduction of alternative therapies has led to the decision to discontinue these products in Australia.

The release clraified that the decision to discontinue these products has been made by the companies on commercial grounds and is not a result of regulatory action on the part of the TGA. It was not an Australian specific decision, but international.

The Australian Government cannot force a company to manufacture or supply a product against its will.

It is expected that nearly all patients will be able to be transferred to new insulin products. Patients affected by the removal of the products are advised to contact their doctor for further information on a suitable alternative.

BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT

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